After all the excitement of Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour, the caravan now moves to Mexico City for the WGC Mexico. The host for the tournament will be Club de Golf Chapultepec which is a par 72, 7200+ yard course that was designed by Willie and Alex Smith before being completely redesigned in 1972 by Percy Clifford.
One of the first things that punters should know about this Course is that it is at an elevation of almost 7, 835 feet above sea level. The air is thin in these parts and the ball tends to travel very well. The course ends up playing much shorter than it actually is and a lot of the golfers will have to keep their drivers in cold storage for the most part.
This is not an easy course and demands a lot of accuracy from the players. The fairways are narrow, and tree lined. Hitting the fairways is an absolute must because there is not a lot of rough to stop the ball going into the trees if the accuracy is not dialed in.
The greens are also pretty small and lined by Poa annua bentgrass. Golfers that are on top of their iron game will keep putting themselves in contention but putting is also going to play a major role here. The weather is expected to be clear throughout this tournament and the winds should be relatively mild as well.
One of the things that golfers report after playing this course is that even though it appears quite green, it plays a little harder because of the dry atmospheric conditions.
This year will be just the second year that WGC Mexico will be played at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Dustin Johnson won it last year with a score of 14 under Par. Being a WGC event, the tournament is going to be a full field no-cut event.
This means that every player is going to have the opportunity to play the full four rounds. The Wolf thinks this format can actually reduce the intensity of the tournament but it does allow for some remarkable comeback stories to be scripted.
Players that are accurate of the tee are going to be the ones to back this week. Dustin Johnson only hit 4-5 drivers in every round last year when he won it and so distance off the tee is not going to be a factor. The fast, undulating greens are also going to be a real challenge and so the best putters in the field will definitely stand out as well.
Stats that Matter
The Wolf is focusing on the following stats this week:
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
Par 4 Scoring
This is a course where being consistent and avoiding mistakes is going to be very important. Players have to recognise the opportunities when they can be aggressive but be steady for the rest of time. Dustin Johnson was 5th in Greens in Regulation, 4th in Driving Distance, and 21st in Strokes Gained: Putting when he won here last time around.
The Wolf’s favorite this week is Jordan Spieth at $15.00. After a few weeks where Spieth looked off of his game, the Wolf saw some encouraging signs at the PGA National last week. He seems to have sorted out his driver and is getting back to the kind of putting form which makes him one of the best putters in the business. The fact that he does not have to hit too many drivers will also be a massive advantage. Spieth is also one of the best Scramblers in the game.
Jordan Spieth is 11th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, 3rd in Par 4 Scoring, and 3rd in Bogey Avoidance.
The Wolf’s value pick this week is Tommy Fleetwood at $19.00. Fleetwood is in red-hot form and almost won this tournament last year as well. Had his Sunday at the PGA National been a little better, he could well have been walking away the winner last week too. The Wolf thinks it is only matter of time before he registers a win this season and that this is no time to get of the Fleetwood train.
Tommy Fleetwood is 2nd in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, 54th in Par 4 Scoring, and 74th in Bogey Avoidance. In the form that he is in, though, the Wolf thinks he will hit more fairways than he will miss and that should leave him in a good spot to work some magic with the Irons.
For the long shot, the Wolf likes Phil Mickelson at $21.00. This is the kind of course that Phil should do well on. He is very accurate off the tee and his mid-range game has been very good of late. There is no questioning the form that Mickelson has been in either. He finished T5 at the Waste Management Open, T2 at the AT&T Pebble Beach, and T6 at the Genesis Open. He is well worth a punt at the price Mickelson is being offered.
Best: Jordan Spieth ($13.00)
Value: Tommy Fleetwood ($19.00)
Roughie: Phil Mickelson ($21.00)
Tournament By Country
Top Aussie: Marc Leishman ($1.60)
72 Hole Match Bets
Big 6 v Field: Big 6 (D.Johnson, J.Thomas, J. Rahm, J.Spieth, T.Fleetwod, P.Mickelson) ($2.00)